The biggest hurdle to achieving statehood is that while DC residents care—and suffer the consequences of our status—our friends in the fifty states don’t know we’re disenfranchised and haven’t been given a call to action to help.As Delegate, I will convene DC officials and lead a coordinated and joint strategy that we can all agree on and push in a uniform manner. A unified DC voice (Delegate, Mayor, Council) is the only way we will accomplish our goals.
As Dean of UDC Community College and as Deputy Assistant Secretary at the US Department of Education, I was laser focused on ensuring people have the skills and competencies needed to obtain a family sustaining wage. The economy is ever changing and education should be ongoing. I will ensure every resident grows with DC. Delegate, my top choice for Committee assignment will be the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
We have a generation of people who can’t go back to school because they have outstanding debt. They can’t move forward in their careers because they don’t have the necessary credentials. Student loan forgiveness will go a long way toward helping people actualize their dreams. In addition, I advocate to have DC students intern in each Congressional office year around.
In the Obama Administration, I worked to implement the stimulus bill, a $787 billion package, to jumpstart our economy. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and when they suffer, we all do. We need to increase federal support for these businesses including giving DC businesses preferential consideration on all federal contracts that want to do business with the city.
In my time at the Office of the Vice President, I was the primary liaison to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, a resource that is currently underutilized, As Delegate, I will push for DC residents to have access to every federal resource available to assist with home ownership. This includes advocating for more Section 8 programming, and Low Income Housing Tax Credits to encourage private investment in affordable housing.
This issue relates to statehood. Our incarcerated men and woman are treated as second-class citizens as they are charged with federal crimes instead of state charges. As Delegate, I will work to rescind The National Capital Revitalization andSelf-Government Improvement Act of 1997, which transferred the local justice authority from
DC to Federal Bureau of Prisons. This will bring families closer together and allow individuals in the correctional system to take advantage of more robust education and rehabilitation programming.
Transportation is a real and deep concern for all residents. Despite current representation on the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, government entities seem to be pitted against their neighbors. I propose establishing a Capital Regional Caucus to effectively coordinate and solve transportation issues as a region. DC is perfectly positioned to be a pilot city for federal investments in transportation and new modes of transportation. As Delegate, I would advocate for piloting these programs in the Wards with the toughest commutes.
As Delegate, my focus will be to redefine federal constituent services. This means that my team and I will be active in the District, in every ward, every week. Given our diversity as a city, we will update and streamline communication channels so that residents receive information in the modes that suits them best, whether it be through text, phone calls, social media, and traditional mail. Members of Congress spend 1/3 of their year in DC and they should be engaged residents. I will work to ensure they experience the city we love and call home.